Description :Many soldiers did artistic work as soon as the situation allowed it in the trenches. In back areas it was actually a very common pastime to produce works of art. Art activity was to maintain some sort of individuality in the face of ubiquitous uniformity; it was a way to express one’s own self in various ways: painting, carving, but also making music (often enough on homemade instruments) and singing. Even after the war, memory was often coped with artistically.
This helmet is a British “Brodie” helmet that was painted with an impression of the destroyed town hall of Péronne, floral motives and the flags of the Entente countries, France and Britain. We have to assume that the artist has seen Péronne, because it is indeed a British helmet and the city was occupied by British soldiers in spring 1917. The laurel branches and the flags are a commemoration of the victory over the German Reich.
The transformation of military in civilian artifacts for artistic purposes can indeed especially be found after the war; objects that had been prepared for destruction were made into something new and creative, privately commemorating the war experience.